|Tuesday, 22 May 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-07-28
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 GUL COMMENTS ON THE ERGENEKON CASEUnresolved high-profile murders, terror groups and criminal gangs have stood in the way of political normalization and stability in crisis-prone Turkey for decades, but an indictment on Ergenekon, a criminal network suspected of plotting a coup against the government, suggests these seemingly unrelated crimes may be far from random. A glance through the 2.455-page indictment, which some say launched the trial of the century, reveals the discomforting possibility that all the dark moments of Turkey's recent history could be the result of a deliberate attempt by a central network to create a state within the state and an alternative establishment aimed at steering politics. "Our country has a bright future. The future will be better," said President Abdullah Gul, when asked yesterday to comment on the Ergenekon case while in his hometown Kayseri. He declined to comment further, saying only that the court will fulfill its duties and make its decision on the case. The indictment, made public on Friday, says that Ergenekon network was behind a series of earth-shattering political assassinations over the past two decades. /Today's Zaman/
 TWO BLAST KILLS 16 PEOPLE, INJURES 154Two bombs which were put on a street open to the pedestrian traffic in Istanbul's district of Gungoren yesterday exploded with intervals of 10 minutes and killed 16 people and injured 154. President Abdullah Gul condemned those who display the cruelty of terrorism and show their desire for violence and barbarity without discriminating between the men and women and children, young and old people. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also condemned the terrorist attack in a written statement. /Aksam/
 NEWSWEEK PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON TURKEYThe American Newsweek journal asked in an article entitled "Democracy in the Dock" what would happen if the Turkish court bans the ruling party, prime minister and president. "At the Constitutional Court in Ankara, four professional judges and seven laymen will rule on whether to close Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and ban 70 of its top members and party foundersâ€"including the president and prime ministerâ€"on charges of pursuing a hidden Islamist agenda," wrote the journal. The article added, " Critics have described the proceedings as an attempted "judicial coup" mounted by hard-line believers in Ataturk's secular principles. Despite the flimsiness of the charges, the court is unlikely to acquit the partyâ€"if only because it would mean a humiliating climb-down for the judges who agreed to deliberate the case." The article further stated that a "decision to close it and ban its top members from politics would provoke a political crisis, leaving the country leaderless and creating a dangerous power vacuum in Turkish politics. The AKP founders, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, are high- profile global figures with many friends in the West." /Sabah/
 LAGENDIJK ARRIVES IN TURKEYTurkey-EU Joint Parlaimentary Commission Co-chairman Joost Lagendijk arrived in Turkey today to follow the closure case opened against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) which will start to be deliberated at the Constitutional Court today. /Cumhuriyet/
 TSK ATTACKS PKK TARGETSThe General Staff stated yesterday that an effective air operation was performed by the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) war planes against the PKK targets which were determined in Iraq's region of Kandil Mountain last night. The General Staff's statement added that the etnire 12 targets belonging to the terrorist organization were hit and that our planes which had fulfilled their duty successfully had come back to their headquarters. /Cumhuriyet/
 GULER SENDS A DECLARATION TO INSTITUTIONS ATTACHED TO HIS MINISTRYEnergy Minister Hilmi Guler said yesterday that their aim was to put local resources to maximum good use in energy production and make Turkey a regional force in terms of energy. Guler mentioned his gladness about the work performed in the energy sector in a declaration that he sent to institutions attached to his ministry. Guler wrote that the energy production should be continuously increased and the energy should be presented to consumers as cheap as possible, because one of the most important means of creating a globally competitive economy is supplying cheap, sustainable and safe energy of good quality. /Sabah/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 JOURNEY TO RECENT PASTBY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)
Columnist Erdal Safak comments on the recent past of Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Turkey has been floundering in a crossroads where both mined and safe roads intersect. But now it's time for to make a choice. Turkey will choose one of them in a short period of time. In the eve of this choice, the question of how we came to this crossroads came to our mind and we returned to one year ago to find the answer. One year ago, there were general elections and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that they considered different preferences as the richness of our democratic life and that they would never make a concession from our Republic's basic characteristics and again at that time Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) broke a record to close the day with 55.625,44 points â€" it started this week with 37.556 points, that is, it lost one third of its value in one year.
In those days, we read what were written on expectations about the new period. Here are some examples from them:
Professor Cengiz Aktar from Bahcesehir University spoke to the "La Liberation" and "El Watan," saying that he thinks that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will display a more conciliatory stance in all important decisions and that the most difficult thing to do for Turkey in the next period would be renewing the political system. Aktar added that the nation won in Turkey and now it was the time to construct democracy.
French Institute for Anatolian Studies' expert Jean Marcou said that he doesn't think Erdogan would abstain from a wrist wrestling, because why would he risk the victory's results?
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that Erdogan plans to implement many things in the next five years and aims that fundamental rights and human rights would be more valid in his country and twofold the income per person in his country. It was added that it would be impossible to reach these goals through confliction and that's why one of the key words mentioned by Erdogan is harmony and he aims that all social groups are involved in the administration. It was also stated that there is a new constitution in the focus of this work, which would consist of not the state, but fundamental rights and human rights which are guaranteed by the state.
EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said that it was vitally important for the new government to implement legal and economic reforms with full determination and concrete results and hoped that these reforms would be ready until November, when the Progress Report would be published.
Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-chairman Joost Lagendijk said that if the AKP continued on his reform path, many things which had been experienced recently couldn't have occurred. He added that his greatest mistake was to think that they could postpone the EU issue and that it would be beneficial for him to go back to reforms in the new period.
The Guardian wrote that the Turkish nation voted for Erdogan for modernization and that it's not easy to make a reform in a large country like Turkey where the diversity is intensive, but Erdogan is the right man for this.
The Times wrote that election results were a victory in terms of democracy in a country where most of its nation is Muslim but we wonder if it would be a victory in terms of common sense and moderateness as well.
I can list hundreds of examples more. It seems true friend tells the painful truth unsparingly. Compromise, new constitution, more democracy, more freedom, a new political system with the focus of human rights and pluralism and reforms which would integrate with the EUâ€¦ What happened to these expectations that we thought forming the real agenda in Turkey? Were our hopes just a mirage? I wish it was possible to make a journey to the past and we could find a solution to the question of where was the mistake."
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